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2009 EpicSki Gathering trip report for photos and anecdotes

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 

Today was the official Jackson Hole Gathering kickoff day and I encourage anyone with photos, jokes, embarrasing stories etc.... to put them here.


I was part of the Snow King Saturday contingent and there were 9 of us to show up there.  I know others were at JHMR and I think most of us will gather tomorrow at Targhee.


I want to acknowledge up front the efforts of Bob Peters and wife Ruth as well as those of HarkinBanks and family for pulling much of this together.


I also want to acknowledge Uncle Louie for stepping up and getting this whole thing started as there was never any concensus after last seasons gathering.  He put it out there and focused the attention necessary to get this off the ground(first chair).


Ahead are a few pics from Snow King today.



Group shot after first lift ride and fro L to R are


Greg(friend of garyskr), garyskr, Batgirl, Bonni, Skierj, Comprex, Uncle Louie, Bumpfreaq, Ski3po




Skierj foreground and Comprex background in some small bumps/crud in what were excellent conditions in the AM



Skierj and Comprex 20 seconds after previous picture



garyskr stabbing Comprex while Ski3po skis in the background



Batgirl and Bonni cruising along



Town of Jackson from near the top of Snow King



Batgirl left and Bonni right laughing at me as the lift stopped and they were just barely able to get off at the top while I was dangling in the light winter breeze









Uncle Louie, Bonni, Skierj, Ski3po and Batgirl relaxing after a nice dinner





post #2 of 97
Thread Starter 

A great first day and can't wait for Targhee tomorrow

post #3 of 97

Crowded Snow King

Snow King does have some fun runs, but I'll never go back because it's so expensive and crowded.

post #4 of 97


Madeline & Tim Tromano joined Mike "mdf" and myself for a day at Jackson Hole on Saturday. Tim and his wife came up from Utah on Friday night and will return home after skiing Targhee. My time at the gathering is limited also, I need to get to L.A. by early Tuesday. We were eager to get to Jackson Hole and we were not disappointed.


"mdf" knows Jackson Hole very well. Madeline & Tim would be skiing here for the first time and I would be enjoying my second day here. The mountain is awesome. Everyone knows that the massive vertical and generally steep terrain puts Jackson Hole on every advanced skiers top 5 want-to-ski list. The place exceeds expectations. Not only is there a ton of vertical, but the variety of challenging terrain is beyond expectation. A major plus is that very little traversing is needed and the challenge is sustained from top-to-bottom.


After catching a gondola at 9:10 we stayed away from the lines on the lower mountain and skied of the Apres Vous lift until 11:00. We were a bit surprised to find boot-top powder and soft conditions in Saratoga Bowl;


Continued on a following post;

Edited by WILDCAT - 2/8/2009 at 05:21 pm

Edited by WILDCAT - 2/8/2009 at 05:33 pm
post #5 of 97

After an 11:00 break at the Casper Restaurant, Madeline, Tim, "mdf" and I skied the Casper Bowl Triple and the Thunder Quad Chair. "mdf" skied the Tower 3 Chute;




We spent the afternoon on Rendezvous Mountain. We skied from the Sublette Quad to the Lower Sublette Ridge and enjoyed the warm sun and soft spring snow. After stopping for a beer, we rode the Tram to the top. "mdf" and I went to ski the Central Chute below Rendezvous Bowl. Our last run at 4:00 took us down the Alta Chutes to Dick's Ditch.

Edited by WILDCAT - 2/8/2009 at 05:32 pm

Edited by WILDCAT - 2/8/2009 at 05:35 pm

Edited by WILDCAT - 2/8/2009 at 05:42 pm
post #6 of 97

Looks like you all had a blast. I gotta get better at chosing my time and place for holidays. Next year now we know.

post #7 of 97

Things I have learned at the Gathering --


1. always let Bumpfreaq go first.  If you don't, he will pass you anyway.

2. always wipe the condensation from the camera lens before taking pictures.

3. never change your mind in the air. 

post #8 of 97

mdf, it was great skiing with you today!  I hate going first because a) I usually don't know where I'm going and b) if the line is tricky I want to see some other sucka hit it first =)

post #9 of 97

I 2nd that Old Boot, Already thinking of next year

post #10 of 97

Yeah, I am thinking about coming next year too.


I'll be in JH next week, but if I planned better I could have made it for the gathering dates instead.

post #11 of 97
Thread Starter 

Day 2 of The Gathering was at Grand Targhee.  There was 22 of us that I counted.


HarkinBanks had this day organized to a tee and with the help of his wonderful family and Bob Peters had everyone cruising around on appropriate terrain and wonderful snow all day.  Targhee had experienced a thaw/freeze and due to expert guidance we were in firm but edgeable to soft snow all day.


Can't thank HB, HB family, Bob Peters and Uncle Louie enough.


Bumpfreaq, HarkinBanks and Uncle Louie as the Bear herding begins




Bob Peters, HB daughter Gabby(ripper), UL and at_nyc exiting Dreamcatcher



Tromano wife(madeline) nailing the face of Dreamcatcher liftline



HarkinBanks pointing the way off the cornice on a run called The Bad(some of the best snow of the day)



garyskr(lower left) and Comprex(upper middle) after dropping in






Ski3po dropping in with Uncle Louie waiting



Uncle Louie X2



Batgirl showing off one of the several tshirts purchased from the Targhee Ski Patrol benefiting one of the always great ski area organizations that can use our help



A little apres at The Trap Bar.  Faces visible are garyskr(forground) and Harkinbanks(host), Bonni, mdf, Pete No Idaho(background)





post #12 of 97
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

Things I have learned at the Gathering --


1. always let Bumpfreaq go first.  If you don't, he will pass you anyway.

2. always wipe the condensation from the camera lens before taking pictures.

3. never change your mind in the air. 

The good news is, when BF passes you, he's always safe and courteous.

The other two tips are spot on!


Glad you're all out there gettin some!

post #13 of 97

On day zero, Bob Peters gave 7 of us the preview tour.  Even though I've been to JH before, I learned a few new tricks (like how to get into the Hobacks without going through the jumbled mess at the entrance).  Towards the end of the day, it was just Wildcat and me skiing together, and we decided to kick it up a notch.  Here is a pic of Wildcat escaping from Tower 3 by traversing out through the trees.wildcat escapes

As W. noted above, Saturday we skied with Tramano and his wife at JH..  After awile, the three guys took off to explore Saratoga Bowl.  It has some nice stuff, but the traverse out gets annoying quickly.

Here are two pics of Wildcat I like cause they are close ups and a different view angle than you usually see.  One was in Saratoga, the other was on the lower face (South Colter Ridge, IIRC) we skiied with Tramano & his wife.



We had a 2 O'clock beer break at Nick Wilsons under the Tram -- does JH know the new tram has holes in the bottom?  I hope it's covered under warranty.

post #14 of 97
Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post

Can't thank HB, HB family, Bob Peters and Uncle Louie enough.




No doubt. 

What a good dayThumbs Up  For me it was one of those days when I didn't even think much about getting my camera out =(


Hey HB, if you ever get tired of that jacket, let me know =)




post #15 of 97

Day two was at Grand Targhee.  As Jgiddyup said, Harkin Banks did a fantastic job showing us around.  He used his kids as sheepdogs to herd us Bears, and they did a marvelous job putting up with us.  Here is the group being gathered at the bottom of a run under the lift.



Later, we skied a cornice called "The Bad".  I went first and was waiting to take pictures when a non-Epic person had a spectacular crash



This would have been a great picture of Harkin Banks coming down from the cornice, but half of my lens had condesation on it.


Garyskier and Comprex just after the cornice, in the dry half of my lens.]







post #16 of 97

Well...  I haven't met up with any of you yet, but I plan to tomorrow.  Our group has two days in so far.  Our first run of the trip, we decided to check out Corbets.






After that we skied all the classic JH lines...  Alta Chutes, Expert Chutes, Paint Brush...  We had a pretty cool little adventure down Cheyenne Gully.  There are always some interesting little shots in there.  We finished up the day with a lap in Rock Springs bowl.


Today we decided to head up to Cody Peak.



Here is my buddy Jim at the entrance of 4 shadows....  the destination we were seeking..



Here is a shot of Mike making some turns in 4 Shadows.



And here is a look back up...



I'll be at the Gondola tomorrow morning, but we'll likely hit the tram first.  If anyone wants to join us, that would be great...



post #17 of 97
Originally Posted by mdf View Post


Garyskier and Comprex just after the cornice, in the dry half of my lens.]







I think Garyskier is the one who collected my yard sale at Breck last year.  Thanks for that!!!

post #18 of 97
Thread Starter 

Thanks to U.P. racer and mdf for the fantastic photos  I'm fairly certain that U.P. racers group were the few of all at Jackson over the weekend/today that ventured into Corbet's.

post #19 of 97
Thread Starter 

I want to give the largest possible Thank You to Harkinbanks and Bob Peters for the guiding and hospitality skills displayed the last two days.  With the shear numbers involved(20 plus) it was amazing keeping everyone together and thoroughly enjoying themselves


Special thanks also to Uncle Louie for playing "sweeper" on many of todays runs and ensuring that we were all kept together and good to the last drop.

post #20 of 97

Looks like lots of fun.  Wish I were there, but just didn't work out.

post #21 of 97

Day 2 -

Bob Peters did a great job showing a huge group around - I think someone counted 22 -- with Harkin Banks helping out by riding the edges of the herd and suggesting alternate lines to potential strays.  We stayed together till lunch -- quite remarkable!


After lunch, I took a small break-away group out to ski Tower 3 Chute and whatever else struck our fancy.

We had Nolo, Ridge Hippie (Mr. Nolo), WIldcat, Bumpfreaq, and myself.  


We did get Wildcat all the way down T3 this time.  Congratulations!  Here is a little more than 1/2 way done.

 And here is Bumpfreaq following him down  passing him.  

Nolo and RH were down the chute and out well before I got the camera out.  Harkin Banks said T3 was scraped off in the morning, but it had filled in with very good snow by the time we got there.


Here Bumpfreaq contemplates one of the small chutes into Cheyenne Bowl.


For the last run, we took Bob's traverse and skied the Hobacks.  By this time I was really tired and had slowed way down.  I was definitely into deficit spending onthat last run.  (Folrtunately it was only a thousand feet or so of vertical.) Everyone was very gracious waiting for me to straggle along.  Thanks!  


Here is Wildcat on North Hoback with Nolo and RH in the background.


After a quick beer at the Moose, we went "home" and changed for Bob's party at his office.  That was a good time.  Thank you Bob and Andy.


I'm looking forward to more great skiing tomorrow.

post #22 of 97

Okay, so the snow conditions in JH aren't what you'd call ideal.  Did that stop us from having a blast?  Absolutely not!


I woke just a bit late and had to rush to be ready when Uncle Louie and Ski3PO arrived to whisk us off to Teton Village.  As we meandered around looking for a place to stowe gear and boot up we ran into Bob Peters and he gave us the lowdown.


Soon we were all (24 of us I think) in line for the gondola and a great day was underway.  The agenda for the AM was to stick to groomers for the most part and become familiar with this otherwise intimidating mountain.  Bob did an awesome job showing us around.  Thanks Bob, I'll be the 254th person to say that you are an absoulutely wonderful embasador for JH and for skiing in generalThumbs Up


I had quite a few highlights today.  The first was that I met Sunshine Tom, an Alyeska local here all the way from Anchorage.  A real cool dude and an awesome skier.  At one point late in the morning the whole group was gathered at the top of Thunder lift.  Bob had just finished informing us of the plan for the run and we were pushing off when I noticed that Tom and Harkin Banks were pointed in the opposite way.  They yelled for me to follow and follow I did.  HB led us to Tower Three Chute.  In this company I was proud just to keep up.  IMO, best snow, best run of the day.


After lunch we broke off into smaller groups.  I was way happy to be skiing with mdf, WILDCAT, Ridge Hippy and nolo.  We did Tower Three again,Lower Sublette, Rendezvous Bowl, some Hoback action and some other stuff that I can't really name.  That was a stellar afternoon.  As I said, JH was not at its best snow wise but this elite crew led us to some pretty fine goods.


After the skis were wiped and stowed there was just enough time to clean up before Bob and Ruthie Peters hosted quite the happening cocktail party.  Wow, just don't know how to express the appropriate thanks.  Just outsandingThumbs Up  Where ever the Gathering ends up next year, there are some very high standard to be met.


Here's mdf ripping it up in Lower Sublette

Ridge Hippy, nolo and mdf freaqin' some lines =)

nolo in fine form.


Can't say it enough, it was a fine, fine day.  Had there been  a foot or two of pow, I think I would have just impoloded.

post #23 of 97
Thread Starter 

I only took a few photos of todays skiing and will post the decent ones tomorrow.


I did take many photos of tonights Epic Ski Gathering 2+20hr social event hosted by Ruth Peters, Bob Peters and Bob's partner Andy.


It was a not to be missed event for those here in Jackson and the turnout along with the enthusiasm displayed for the Epicski community and skiing in general I have never witnessed.


While the usual small talk was present, it was quickly apparent that all things skiing eventually dominated most converstions and Bob finished it up with an amazing video presentation of a ONE TIME ONLY skiing IRONMAN competition held in Jackson circa 1986.


I'm completely out of the necessary energy to get the pics up, but I promise then tomoorow. 

post #24 of 97

I PROMISE....  I'll find you guys tomorrow....   We got there late today.


I actually found the conditions to be almost perfect..  We skied an area called Green River, then Pinedale, then finished it off with probably the best run of my life...  Air Force Couloir, which ends in Granite Canyon and requires about a 30 minute traverse out...


We actually got a bunch of helmet cam video and I'll follow up with a proper trip report later, but for now, here we are right before dropping in to Air Force Couloir.


post #25 of 97

UP Racer - well, you are skiing on a different planet than I am, but I'm sure you'll find a few here that can hang with you.  Hope to meet you tomorrow. 

post #26 of 97


I'll add some additional notes later. Enjoy for now.



post #27 of 97

Looks like you had 14 together on the hill including whoever too the group photo.   Pretty cool indeed!

post #28 of 97
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post


I'll add some additional notes later. Enjoy for now.



Picture one:  Three people who rank up near the top of my favs!


Picture two:  Nolo, THAT is the pose of a woman claiming a Victory!!!!

post #29 of 97
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Looks like you had 14 together on the hill including whoever too the group photo.   Pretty cool indeed!


Between 20 and 24 in the group. Bob kept it all together with the help of Harkin & Uncle Louie. A perfect day & event, really.



post #30 of 97
Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post


Special thanks also to Uncle Louie for playing "sweeper" on many of todays runs and ensuring that we were all kept together and good to the last drop.


Jim, UL's well-qualified...after all, he's forever waiting for me to pick my way down the hill!   Looks like y'all are having some good times indeed! 

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